I am interested in ideas that will help us make our pets lives more environmentally friendly. I know picking up their poop is helpful, but what else? Any ideas are appreciated.
Jacquelyn from Walker, LA
I can only really think of one tip. When you take your animals out on walks, try to discourage them from urinating on plants. The sodium (salt) concentration in the urine attracts wild animals to eat the plants, but since urine is harmful, it could make the wild animals sick.
That reminds me of when I came home to find a pet
owner allowing their dog to doo on my strawberries, and of the time an inconsiderate ex-neighbor used
to take his dog to my front yard tree at night, thinking we had no idea. It was a new tree but it didn't die. In fact, it's healthier than the two just like it in THEIR old yard. lol. Did you mean environmentally friendly TO the pet? or TO society?
If to the pet, I'd suggest getting down on your
stomach, if the pet is really small, or your all fours,
if a mid-sized to large pet, to just see and imagine
how it is for those guys, from catching their paw-nails
in looped rugs and carpet to having to drink from a
dirty watering bowl, watching doors being slammed, and making them eat from the same bowl as other animals, which is so crowded and uncomfortable, even if they eventully get used to it in THEIR environment.
If you meant to society when on a walk or in a store
with you, the leash or carrier is the most important
environmentally safe issue I observe, as well as
the owners who don't warn those who stop to pet the animal when an animal isn't "stranger friendly".
Ignoring a pet's needs when many humans are around is environmentally unwise. Forcing a house pet to sleep on a dusty rug or floor , or hard surface is also adding environmental shock to the pet. : )
For the most part, animals are already environmentally friendly. WE are the ones who make bad choices where they are concerned.
Anyway...here's a few green ideas you might find helpful.
1). Avoid dosing animals with "home cures". Garlic, Brewers Yeast, zinc supplements, among other things, can be toxic to animals.
2). invest a few dollars in several flea combs and keep them handy during flea season. Comb outdoor pets every day. You can kill the fleas that you have trapped in the comb by pulling them off and dumping them in a small dish filled with rubbing alcohol.
3). If you have outdoor pets, consider doing away with carpet in your home, and going with wood floors or linoleum. Fleas need a place to lay eggs, and carpet is perfect for that. Also, wood floors and linoleum are MUCH easier to keep clean of dirt tracking/ loose hair/ etc.
4). Before undertaking making your own pet food, please research carefully and thoroughly. Pets have VERY specific dietary needs, and you could be doing more harm than good if you are not well informed on the subject.
5). Make sure you keep up with yearly vet exams! This is the most important thing you can do for your pets. I personally shun yearly vaccinations for my 16 year old indoor cat, but I'm also very careful not to introduce strays into the household or kennel her when we go out of town. I think this is a personal choice best left to individual pet owners, though.
Guess that's all the green advice I have to share on this topic. Wish I could offer more.
You can use biodegradable poop bags, which are corn-based. One of the stupidest things we do is take poop, which is natural, and mummify it in plastic.
Also, always adopt shelter animals, and have them spayed/neutered. This is based on the simple fact that more animals on the planet take up more resources, so when you want a pet, get one that already exists, don't support a breeder who is creating new animals. If you want a specific breed, go to a breed rescue.
Use recycled materials for pet beds. I have cat beds stuffed with grocery bags (they love the sound) and dog beds stuffed with old packing peanuts.
Use organic pet food, it produces fewer by products and is healthier for the pet.
Always consider packaging when you buy anything for your pet- the less, the better.
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